LIBERTY CENTER — Swanton trailed at times in the first half but when it mattered most the Bulldogs clamped down defensively and were able to hit shots from long range on offense, ultimately leading to a 52-43 win at Liberty Center Friday in Northwest Ohio Athletic League boys basketball.
With the win, the Dogs improve to 15-2 overall and 4-0 in the league.
“Well, as you know, we’re pretty solid defensively. And finally, we were able to get some shots to go in for us tonight. I think when you make a few shots you get confident in your overall game, and that’s pretty much what happened,” said head coach Bruce Smith of the win.
Swanton led the entire first quarter and Nic Borojevich’s free throw with 1:01 remaining in the period bumped their lead to 12-9 entering the second.
But, the Tigers grabbed the lead in the first 46 seconds of the second stanza as Colton Chambers sank a jumper and Teejay Moore notched a three-point play. Kayden Davis got the Dogs back on the board off a feed from Hayden Callicotte, however, a Tiger 3-pointer put LC up 17-14 at the 6:34 mark.
From there, though, Swanton went on a 11-0 run to take the lead back for good.
It started with 3-pointers each for Nic Borojevich and Luc Borojevich, then Luc added a pair of free throws and Swanton’s Lathan Pawlowicz went 1 for 2, making the difference 25-17 with 2:38 left.
The Dogs were able to hit from deep at critical times throughout the game, leading to six made 3-pointers that aided them in their cause.
“Ball care,” said Coach Smith on the Bulldogs getting open looks. “Moving the ball and, sometimes we get impatient and take a good shot when we could wait for a great shot. For the most part tonight we were patient. We passed up good shots to wait for great shots. And obviously, you have to be able to handle the ball to do that and we did.”
LC responded with buckets by Riley Chapa and Zane Zeiter, while Nic Borojevich hit two from the foul line with just 10 seconds left for a 27-21 Swanton advantage at the break.
The Tigers scored first 27 seconds into the second half via Wyatt Leatherman’s layup, but then the home team went quiet and the Dogs went on a 15-2 run that put it away.
The Borojevich brothers accounted for 10 of those points and for the game, combined for 35 of Swanton’s 52 points. Luc Borojevich finished with 20 points while Nic Borojevich had 15.
“They have spent so much time in the game perfecting their craft that we hope we get that a lot,” said Smith of Nic and Luc’s effect on the game. “And that’s asking a lot as you know. But on this night, both of them were phenomenal.”
Luc Borojevich’s three-point play began the spurt, Nic Borojevich and Sam Betz followed with triples, Aiden Hammontree fit in a layup for LC, but Betz’ steal and score pushed the Bulldog lead to 38-25 after three. Then, two Nic Borojevich free throws got the margin to 15, 25 seconds into the final frame.
The Tigers could get no closer than nine the rest of the way.
Swanton had a good following of fans once again to cheer on another NWOAL win. With victory in hand as the final seconds ticked off the clock, Smith signaled for more crowd noise.
He stressed his appreciation of the support after the game.
“I told our guys that I’ve been at Swanton three years, and we never have even come close to getting that kind of following on the road,” explained the Bulldog mentor. “And I told our kids, ‘this is because of the way you play. You play together, you play hard, you play smart.’ And you know, people like to follow teams like that. I think that’s what’s happening, and it helps that we’re 15-2.”
Swanton is now off until this Friday when they are at Delta.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010.